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The Business Matrix: Monday 31 March 2014

Petrol price falls for fifth month in a row

The average family is now £5 a week better off than last year thanks to falling petrol prices, according to Asda. February was the fifth straight month of improvement.

Health and Safety chief paid £160,000

The next chief executive of the Health and Safety Executive  could receive a salary of as much  as £160,000 before benefits, according to a recruitment advertisement published in the media yesterday.

Footballer Mills in pasty firm buyout

The former England footballer Danny Mills is part of a club of investors poised to buy the West Cornwall Pasty Company, according to reports yesteray.

Sunday papers

Tobacco firms’ war on plain packets

The tobacco industry is gearing up to attack a report into the health benefits of plain cigarette packaging, out this week. The review will influence whether the Government presses ahead with plain packaging. (Independent on Sunday)

Chinese tycoon may buy House of Fraser

House of Fraser, the 165-year-old high-street department stores chain, could be snapped up by a Chinese tycoon in a £450m deal. Sanpower, a conglomerate run by Yuan Yafei, is in advanced talks with  the group. (The Sunday Times)

Career Services

Day In a Page

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Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

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Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

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Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

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Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor